ITV SET TO ESCAPE RULES BUGBEAR
ITV may be close to losing one of its most burdensome regulations after the government said it had powers to intervene in a long-running competition saga under a loophole in the law. City analysts believed the contract rights renewal (CRR) rules were certain to be a drag on the company’s earnings for at least another three or four years. But a senior official has disclosed that the government has the power to revoke the Commission’s oversight of CRR.
TENCENT WARNS ON IMPACT OF CHINA TEXTS CRACKDOWN
Tencent, the world’s third-largest internet company, said yesterday that China’s crackdown on mobile text messages was starting to hurt its business. The warning is an early indication China’s strict censorship regime could impact on its internet boom.
INEOS IN €1BN REFINANCING
Ineos, the privately owned chemicals group, has agreed to refinance about €1bn (£900m) of its senior term debt by issuing bonds with a maturity of five years. The planned refinancing -- which needs the consent of its senior lenders and holders of high-yield bonds -- represents about 14 per cent of Ineos’s net debt. A spokesman said that, given the recent improvement in the perception of Ineos’s debt, it was a good time to refinance.
NY TIMES TURNS TO BLOG TO BOOST REGIONAL NEWS
The New York Times has signed a deal to supplement its news gathering with news and blog links from 160 cities in six countries, in a move that makes some attempt to tackle the problem of funding local news operations. The NY Times and its related properties will begin offering news links and excerpts from a network of news sources from Fwix, a news aggregator start-up.
GOOGLE MAY KEEP CHINESE WEB SERVICES ALIVE
Google is considering a plan to keep many of its operations in China, even though it is resigned to closing its flagship search engine over a censorship dispute with the Chinese authorities. The company could keep operating its Beijing research and development centre, advertising sales office and mobile phone and browser businesses.
TAXMAN SCRUTINISES PROPERTY AMATEURS
The taxman is targeting holiday-home owners and buy-to-let landlords to boost Treasury coffers as receipts fall with the rise in unemployment, accountants say. The Revenue is trawling the Land Registry to identify people who have bought and sold properties without telling the taxman, UHY Hacker Young said.
The Daily Telegraph
SHEFFIELD FORGEMASTERS GETS £80M STATE LOAN TO MAKE PARTS FOR NUCLEAR INDUSTRY
Sheffield Forgemasters has received an £80m loan from the British government to build a massive steel press to supply components for the nuclear industry. Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, said the decision to support the company was part of a strategic intervention to develop a nuclear supply chain able to meet the demand of the next generation of nuclear power stations.
JUDGE BACKS BP OVER $100M AWARD
BP has persuaded a Texas judge to overrule a $100m (£65m) award against the oil giant over a chemical release that workers claim made them ill. US district judge Kenneth Hoyt set aside a judge’s finding in December that BP showed gross negligenceat its Texas refinery in 2007.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
FIAT PATRIARCH'S DAUGHTER LOSES LAWSUIT
A Turin judge yesterday dismissed a lawsuit from the daughter of Fiat SpA patriarch Gianni Agnelli that had challenged the valuation of his estate and could have placed a previous agreement regarding control of Fiat in doubt. Margherita Agnelli de Pahlen had asked three of her father's advisers for a full accounting of the late Agnelli’s wealth, according to a court filing.
WHOLESALE PRICES DECLINE
US wholesale prices in February posted their biggest drop in seven months as gasoline costs fell sharply, leaving scope for the Federal Reserve to keep short-term interest rates at a record low. The producer price index for finished goods dropped by a seasonally adjusted 0.6 per cent on the month in February, the Labor Department said.